An overnight plane crash has shocked the college athletics community.
Oklahoma State's women's basketball head coach and an assistant coach were killed along with two other people on a recruiting trip.
News 3 has reaction from Texas A&M Women's Basketball Coach Gary Blair, who called Coach Kurt Budke one of his closest friends in the Big 12 Conference.
Oklahoma State Women's Head Coach Kurt Budke and Assistant Coach Miranda Serna died along with two other people when the single engine plane they were flying in crashed over Perry County, Arkansas Thursday night.
The tragedy has rocked Oklahoma State University to its core.
"When something like this happens and God forbid it happens again we have to pull together as a family. We gotta try to do that. I think this is the longest I've gone without tearing up," said Burns Hargis, Oklahoma State University President.
The tragedy is also hitting close to home for Texas A&M Women's Baskeball Coach Gary Blair, who called Coach Budke his closet friend in the league.
"We both took over the two bottom programs in the league; A&M and Oklahoma State so we both suffered through the growing pains and everything. We got to know each other, recalled Gary Blair.
Coach Blair tells us losses like this really put life into perspective.
"We're responsible enough to know we have a real life and a better life and that's with our families and our beliefs and our faith and everything like that. Kurt was as good of a family man as you would ever meet," Coach Blair said.
Blair plans on attending a memorial service for his friends and colleagues next week.
"I'm losing a good friend and a better man and I just offer my condolences to Oklahoma State," he said.
The cause of the plane crash remains under investigation.
It also killed 82-year-old pilot Olin Branstetter, a former Oklahoma State Senator, and his wife, Paula.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.